Wednesday, March 5, 2008


SciFi - Original Air Date: 3/5/08

Now this is the way to run a paranormal investigation!  The second season premier of Destination Truth ups the ante, showing they learned a thing or two from their successful first season.  The crew, with some new members, treks to Nepal to check out recent yeti sightings.  Josh Gates (our host) intrepidly pokes his nose into caves that may contain a yeti -- or a bear -- and generally does crazy things in the name of finding out the "truth."  Armed with good equipment and night vision cameras, he boldly goes ... well, wherever he needs to.  (The cave turns out empty, by the way, despite the big droppings outside.)  So, the crew braves the thin air and considerable dangers at 11,000 feet in the Himalayas.  Gates himself is engaging, by turns cordial and snarky, and the show's narrative moves along briskly.  If this show is any indication, the commercial break cliffhangers are less forced this year, a trend I find encouraging.  After failing to obtain a hair from a supposed yeti scalp, they take a nighttime trek along a rushing river bank where a yeti reportedly attacked a woman (and killed some yak).  The IR camera proves dodgy, but their night vision is still good.  After seeing a few moving shadows, they discover... a footprint.  Two, in fact, or maybe three.  Out comes the casting powder; prints are taken.  Camera traps are set, and the crew tramps through the night trying to stir something up.  They see something moving on the IR, but can't track it down.  The next day, they head back to the US to analyze their data.  The heat pictures they end up discounting as likely a Sherpa moving near their camp.  (A victory for skepticism!)  The footprints they run through a battery of tests and conclude that they could be real and, if they were a hoax, the hoaxer would have to be very clever.  However, the luck of finding such good evidence right out of the box (even with careful planning) seems pretty large to me.  (I always distrust the producers and PAs on shows like this.)  Another annoyance that I've had with this show is that they turn up such interesting leads so quickly, it's a shame they don't get to stay and investigate longer.  Maybe we need a Josh Gates feature film with some serious long-term tromping around.  All in all, though, this is a good start to the second season of one of the best uncanny shows on television.

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